Will Lim Do-heon-ho, who is standing on the edge of a cliff, be able to smile at the 19th Hangzhou Asian Games in 2022?
The Korean men’s volleyball team, led by coach Lim Do-heon, is preparing for its first match at the Asian Games. Korea was in Group C along with India (September 20, 7 p.m. local time) and Cambodia (September 21, 2:30 p.m.). If they place in second place in their group, they advance to the round of 12 and play the tournament. A ranking match will be held based on the tournament results.
This men’s volleyball schedule opens earlier than other Asian Games. Host country China has adjusted its schedule to send elite members to the Asian Games as well as the 2024 Paris Olympic qualifiers starting September 30. The Hangzhou Asian Games will open on the 23rd, but men’s volleyball will begin on the 19th and the finals will be held on the 26th. Afterwards, women’s volleyball will be held on the 28th.
Korean men’s volleyball is in crisis. Recently, they have not been able to achieve any notable results in international competitions. Both achieved dismal results in the two international competitions they participated in in 2023.
They achieved a shocking result of 3rd place in the 2023 Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Challenger Cup, where many powerhouses such as Japan did not participate. After winning the championship, it was my dream to participate in the 2023 FIVB Challenger Cup, but it was not achieved. In the semifinals, they lost to Bahrain, which was considered to be one step below them. Bahrain’s International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) ranking is 73rd안전놀이터. There is a clear difference with Korea, which ranked 27th. Nevertheless, Korea lost.
Afterwards, Korea failed to smile at the Asian Championships held in Iran. Japan, Iran, Qatar, and China all participated as elite members, but they ranked 5th. Lost to China in the semifinals. They aimed for their first championship in 20 years since 2003, but failed to advance to the semifinals for the second consecutive time.
Looking at the FIVB rankings alone, Japan (5th), Iran (11th), Qatar (17th) are followed by Korea. Even if the main players are missing for the Paris Olympics preliminaries, they are definitely not an opponent to be taken lightly.
Coach Lim Do-heon called on Han Seon-soo (Korean Air), a ‘national treasure-level setter’, for this Asian Games. He played with Myung-kwan Kim (Hyundai Capital) at the AVC Challenger Cup and Seung-bin Hwang (KB Insurance) at the Asian Championships, but did not get the desired results. We are hoping that the skill of Han, who is participating in the Asian Games for the fourth time, and the spirit of Hwang Taek-ui (Army Athletic Corps) will increase.
In addition, other stars representing the V-League such as Jeong Ji-seok (Korean Air), Jeon Kwang-in, Heo Soo-bong (Hyundai Capital), Lim Dong-hyuk (Korean Air), Na Kyung-bok (Ministry of National Defense), Kim Jun-woo (Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance), Kim Min-jae (Korean Air) ), Park Kyung-min (Hyundai Capital), and other rookies came to Hangzhou on the 16th and are shedding a lot of sweat to recreate the glory of Korean volleyball.
The last time Korea won a gold medal at the Asian Games was in Doha in 2006. Won gold medal for the second time in a row following Busan in 2002. Afterwards, he placed 3rd in Guangzhou in 2010, 3rd in Incheon in 2014, and 2nd in Jakarta-Palembang in 2018.
Since it was adopted as an official event in 1958, the only time Korea failed to place in the top three was the 1962 Jakarta (5th place) competition. In other words, he succeeded in winning prizes in all 14 competitions held between 1966 Bangkok and 2018 Jakarta-Palembang competitions. He finished in first place three times, second place eight times, third place four times, and fifth place once.
Korean men’s volleyball is in crisis. Can we get out of the crisis?